Sunday, September 20, 2020

What kind of a woman are you?

It is very interesting how easily we seem to rank women based on their beauty first. Probably this explains why we have countless beauty shows such as Miss World, Miss Bottom, Miss Universe, among others.

But accompanying all these shows where we seek to crown ‘the fairest of them all’, are complaints about how these same shows reduce women to a mound of curves and not portray them as intelligent beings.

What unadulterated hypocrisy!

A new standard is needed and that is for every lady to know what kind of a woman they are.
If all ladies knew, then there would be fewer cases of mistaken identity, trying to be something that one is not.

Women can be placed into four categories, namely a faded beauty, timeless beauty, drama queen and a diva.

According to Dr Cassandra George Sturges, the author of A Woman’s Soul on Paper, the faded beauty kind of woman is one who has gone well past her youthful years, but is treating herself as if she was still youthful. A typical case is of a 55-year-old woman treating herself as if she were a 25-year-old lady!

A faded beauty is a woman who feels and projects in her behaviour that her best years are behind her, and that her self esteem and self-worth are based on her physical appearance and how she compares to other women. While at that, she desperately tries to deny that she has grown up and holds on to her ‘youthfulness’ or whatever is left of it.

Typically, the faded beauty can be noticed by the set of old clothes of yesteryear that she continually wears. These clothes used to be her fashion lingo back in her heydays day. She constantly grapples with her unattractiveness, comparing herself to the trendy girls of today, wears heavy make-up to hide the wrinkles and age spots on her face. The faded beauty is highly dysfunctional in her behaviour and just can’t seem to accept herself for who she is, stuck in a time warp of yesterday that makes her irrelevant in the current generation.

The timeless beauty on the other hand is at the opposite end of the scale, comfortable with who she is and understands that true beauty lies within rather than without. She uses her age to inspire the people around her, being neither a ‘drama queen’ nor a ‘diva’ but a source of humility, sharing her wisdom and life experience with others.
Women such as Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and former South African Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are examples of timeless beauties.
Sincerely composite, calm and casual in themselves and with others, timeless beauties are an absolute gem and masters of human relationships.

At the middle of the scale is the drama queen. The drama queen oscillates between being melodramatic and annoying when things do not go her way at all. The term “drama queen,” is usually applied to someone with a demanding or overbearing personality who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents.

In a drama queen’s world, the world is viewed in absolutes, people are either for her or against her; there being no stages in between. Consequently, the drama queen’s relationship with other people is characterised by jealousy and envy over their success. She can never be truly happy at the success of other people and silently wishes for their downfall.
Probably it is from this envious feeling that the notorious ‘P.H.D’ (Pull Her Down) syndrome among women emanates from.

Many a woman can attest to that their greatest enemy to success is neither a man, unfair treatment at work, nor sexist practices, but the conscious efforts of other women to pull her down whenever a step toward success is attempted.

Last, but definitely not least, there is the diva, exceptionally talented, and star-studded and derived from the Italian word, ‘divos’ this woman is a goddess in every sense of the word. She is a mixture of both beauty and brains. Using her beauty to woo men into her world and her brains to outwit them at every attempt they make to possess her.

The diva kind of woman is characterised by independence, and an insatiable appetite to be her own and do her own thing. This prima-donna goes after what she wants with all her heart never taking no for an answer. The eclectic diva of our time is Madonna, a musician, mother and wife whose absolute determination to adopt another child from Malawi, prevailed against all odds.

Above all things, it sure is about time we begin to accept women for their sheer multi-faceted nature and abandon the stereotypical approach of using beauty alone as a measurement for a woman’s value.

It just is about time for that, don’t you think?

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.